Driving innovation from discovery to access
For the first time in more than a century, new TB vaccines are within reach.
The theme for the 7th Global Forum on TB Vaccines – Driving innovation from discovery to access – speaks to the pivotal moment we are facing in TB vaccine development. After years of scientific ingenuity and perseverance, the new TB vaccines that are urgently needed to eliminate TB could be available this decade. Multiple promising candidates are in late-stage efficacy testing and efforts are underway to ensure new TB vaccines will be affordably and equitably accessible to all who need them. Cutting-edge technologies are bringing forth next-generation TB vaccines while novel insights into the human immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis continue to inform and refine our approach. This is truly a global endeavor, made possible by the commitment of researchers, affected communities, product developers, country leaders, funders, policymakers, advocates, and many others around the world.
There is a palpable sense of optimism and anticipation in the field. Years of dedicated advocacy saw member states commit to deliver new TB vaccines preferably within five years at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September 2023, alongside commitments to invest US$5 billion per year in TB research by 2027. And last year, we saw the biggest investments to date in TB vaccine development, while the World Health Organization launched the TB Vaccine Accelerator Council, co-chaired by Brazil and Indonesia, which seeks to facilitate the development, availability, and use of new TB vaccines.
These commitments, combined with unprecedented scientific progress and ongoing country preparedness initiatives, may soon deliver new TB vaccines – but only if we increase and consolidate our joint efforts to bring these urgently needed tools over the finish line. We look forward to welcoming the TB vaccine community to the Cidade das Artes in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, as we reflect on the progress to date, review the latest innovations across the pipeline, and seek inspiration from the beauty of the city of Rio de Janeiro for the exciting road ahead. Together, we can bring about new TB vaccines and help end TB once and for all.